How much would you pay for Samsung's Galaxy Tab?
So last week we pulled apart the proposed pricing for the Galaxy Tab, the new 7" table from Samsung that was launched three weeks ago and goes on sale on 1 November. The current asking price for the £600 for the gadget, while the company's RRP is £800 - pricing it far beyond the asking price of the iPad, robbing Apple haters of their crutch of pissing and moaning about high prices.
It left many avid readers scratching their heads. Several of you suggested Samsung were indulging in marketeering brinkmanship that would ultimately see them clean up - let's hope so, because according to Silicon Republic, Samsung are confidently predicting sales of 10 million Galaxy Tab devices in the first year alone. To put that in perspective, Apple are also hoping to sell around 10 million iPads in their first year. So why do Samsung - who have neither the profile nor first mover advantage of Apple - expect to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them?
Two good reasons, perhaps - Apple has done everybody a favour by spending hundreds of millions promoting the concept of tablet computing to the mainstream audience; other manufacturers don't necessarily have to educate customers about what a tablet is, just why theirs is worth buying - and as we've said in the past, we wouldn't need much convincing. There's also the fact that the Galaxy Tab won't be sold like an iPad; it'll be sold like an iPhone - mainly through the service providers, on contract. All four major carriers in the US have announced they will carry the device, so while only Vodafone have announced they will offer the Galaxy Tab in the UK from launch, they're unlikely to be alone.
The question of whether Samsung will sell 10 million units in a year therefore comes down to how much the service providers intend to charge for the hardware. In order to sell high volumes, £600 needs to be the contract-free price, with carriers offering a significant subsidy on the device, subject to a 18 or 24 month contracts. In order to crack 10 million, you'd reckon on Samsung needing that price to be around the £300 mark with some very modest (£10 to £20) monthly tariffs - that feels like the sort of pricing that would open up the market.
So it's likely the £600 price tag currently slapped on the Galaxy Tab what you'll pay for your unlocked unit, and while it'll be marketed as a tablet, it'll be sold like a phone to achieve volume. Whether it'll be subsidised to a point that it'll be bought in iPad-type quantities - it still feels unlikely, but ultimately it'll be down to the service carriers.